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New Pain Post-Op

Posted by Donna Y. on 1/30/01 at 15:22 (037761)

I'm only 8 days post-op and I am sure I have a good deal of healing left to do, but the pain so far hasn't been too bad. Today I started having surface pins and needles, talked to my doctor's assistant and was told this was likely something called deseneitization. He instructed me to remove the bandage and change to a lighter dressing which I did. Everything looks wonderful. The incision looks great and I only have a bruise on the bottom of the foot. I have the incision covered, but quickly noticed once the surface nerve tingling subsided that I was having a very uncomfortable (VERY) 'twanging' and electric feeling shooting from my heel when I would move my foot in a certain way and even when I touch it lightly in the wrong places. It has me really worried, but I'm hoping this is just standard nerve disturbance from having the open procedure done. I have an appointment on Friday, but I wanted to see if anyone here might be able to offer me a possible explanation for this nerve pain. I know it's not always best, but I like to try to stay on top of my pain and understand exactly what's going on if I can.

Thanks for any help,
Donna Y.

Re: New Pain Post-Op

Dr. Zuckerman on 1/30/01 at 15:41 (037762)

Very common to have the nerve type pain that you are feeling. It will come and it will go. Some people get it and some don't even realize the feeling.
I have found that even though it feels like nerve pain it is the pain where the plantar fascia was cut or where the the bone was cut. So it feels like nerve pain but it isn't . I call it electrical shock type pain.
No need to feel concerned . Just rest the foot when this happens. Are you weight bearing. ?

The dressing change is was a very good idea. Sometimes does help if with the surface pain.

Re: New Pain Post-Op

Donna Y. on 1/30/01 at 16:28 (037766)

Not yet weight bearing and at this point I don't see how I could until this nerve shock subsides. My dad mentioned that it could take a few more weeks for it to heal enough to help the pain, but he doesn't seem concerned too much either. (He's the physician assistant for ortho surgeon) If you've seen this commonly, Dr. Z, I'll try to stop myself from getting too worked up about it. I have been extremely pleased with my recovery so far. This is the first real discomfort I've had and it's certainly not the horrible pain I had anticipated.

Re: New Pain Post-Op

Dr. Zuckerman on 1/30/01 at 17:04 (037768)

This is very common and not unusual for heel spur surgery post-op. The bandage is not cutting into he skin. There are no sores that the bandages is causing. You changed the bandage .Everythink looks great. . The incision looks great . So time will take care of the healing. It sounds like you are on your way to healing and you haveing nothing to worry about.

Good luck and a speedy recovering

Re: Surgery

Pat on 2/01/01 at 15:37 (037991)

Donna,
Ten weeks ago today, I had open procedure surgery, heel spur and fascia release. Sorry to say, I'm still on crutches. I can walk on my foot, but it hurts and if I ingore the pain and walk, I am in tears by 5pm. My foot is very week and I am having pain near my little toe and the next toe. Doctor thinks I may have a stress fracture. I have had heel pain for 15 years, did everything I could to cure the pain. Surgery was the last resort and it sure didn't work for me.

Please keep writing your up dates. You seem to be very positive and that's what I need right now, as I am really fighting depression.

Pat

Re: Surgery

marie r on 2/01/01 at 22:20 (038031)

Hi everyone, Pat I am so sorry to hear your surgery did not help you. I am schduled to have open surgery monday. Your experience has really scared me. I keep thinking maybe I will be as fortunate as Donna, but the last two days I have really been totally freaking out about the pain and being on crutches. The pain now is bad but I hate to think about my foot being cut into. I am just very nervous and hoping I am doing the right thing since all conservative routes taken failed. I just want to be normal again. I hope you are still doing well Donna, and Pat I hope you will begin to feel better soon. If anyone has any input please let me know. I still have tomorrow to cancel. thanks.

Re: Surgery

Julie on 2/02/01 at 02:21 (038036)

Pat, you might be a candidate for ESWT. If you don't know much about it, have a look at the ESWT board and do a search for what other posters who have had it successfully have said. It's a non-invasive treatment that Drs are beginning to advise as an alternative to surgery. It's usually tried before surgery, leaving the surgical option as a last resort, but Dr Zuckerman has often said that it can also be performed after an unsuccessful surgery.

After 15 years of pain you deserve a break. Perhaps this avenue will open one up for you. I do hope so.

All the best, Julie

Re: Surgery

Julie on 2/02/01 at 02:41 (038038)

Marie, I really feel for you. I'm sure I would be nervous too. Nobody can or should advise you on what to do at this late stage but maybe these thoughts will help focus your mind.

Go with your intuition. Ask yourself how you really feel about it, and if you realize that you really DON'T want to do it, then cancel. It's not the end of the world to change your mind - you can always change it back again at a later date and start over.

However - you decided to have the surgery because you thought, and/or hoped, it would help you, and as you know, it HAS worked for lots of people. So I don't think you should necessarily let one negative report put you into a panic now.

If you do go ahead with surgery, go into it wholeheartedly, believing that it will help you. And I hope it does. We will be praying for you.

All the best, Julie

Re: Surgery

GinaC on 2/02/01 at 13:05 (038062)

After 4 years of pain,and every treatment known to man, including ESWT, I plan on having open surgery to release fascia, remove spur , and tarsal tunnel release (tt diagnosed afer ESWT) in next month. I was told I would probably be on crutches for 8-12 weeks, so perhaps it's not time for you to panic yet, as you are at the 10-week mark and there's bound to be some individual variation. I can imagine the emotional roller coaster you are on and I feel like I'm just starting on that ride myself....best of luck to you as you recover. Gina

Re: Surgery

marie r on 2/02/01 at 19:03 (038083)

Julie, thank you so much for that sweet response. I will welcome your prayers. I have decided to go ahead with it. I can not continue in the pain I am in so I am willing to try something else. For anyone interested,or possibly facing this type of surgery, I will post my post surgical progress as Donna did. Her postings really helped me. God bless you.

Re: Surgery

Donna Y. on 2/02/01 at 21:32 (038090)

Marie,

I felt similar reservations before going for my surgery, but would have none of those reservations now. Though I'm not completely pain free after surgery, I was in so much pain pre-op that it's really not any worse now than it was before. In fact, it's been mostly better with the exception of the crutches, which I despise.

I went to the doctor today and he removed my stitches. He also told me that I'm healing nicely and can 'get rid of those crutches'. Is he nuts? I'm not quite there yet, but with the apparent progress I've made in the past three days, I might be ready to do some weight bearing on Monday or so. It's still just very tender in the heel area and I'm still experiencing some nerve 'twanging' when a certain part of the incision is rubbed, but I'm still healing and that has me optimistic.

I did try to be a trooper and just take a couple of crutch assisted steps, but there was a pretty intense sore pain when I tried. Well, I say pretty intense when what I should say is unbearable. There is no way I can walk without the crutches for even a step right now, but I'm encouraged that the pain was 'soreness' rather than sharp or searing or electric. I feel pretty comfortable that this kind of pain will go away and that perhaps the nerve twang won't bother me while doing some light walking. But that remains to be seen. He gave me his blessing to use the crutches for as long as I needed them after I let him know how very painful it was to put weight on it still.

One thing I was instructed to do religiously now is to rub the incision site with cocoa butter or vitamin E cream. He said I can start by lightly rubbing my heel until I can stand deeper massage, but that if I came back in 4 weeks and hadn't been doing it he'd have to send me to PT for them to work on it to help with the scar tissue. So I'm working on it as much as possible. Deep massage doesn't really bother me all that much unless I hit that one point where the nerve twangs. I certainly want to avoid PT if possible.

I also spoke to my boss today about when I'm going to return to work. Thankfully she's an incredibly understanding person and would give me the rest of the school year off if I needed it. I told her that I felt I should take the next week off to try some weight bearing at home and keep up the massage before pushing myself to get back to work. She agreed that this sounded like the best thing to do at this point and let me know that I should take as much time as I needed to heal. Thank God for wonderful bosses.

And thank God for understanding peers. All the best to all of you.

Donna

Re: Surgery

marie r on 2/02/01 at 22:36 (038092)

Donna, thank you so much for the response. I was hoping I would hear from you. My orthopedic surgeon had told me that I would be on crutches for minium six weeks and that he did not want me to bear any weight on that foot until six weeks is up. I certainly hope I do not have to go to PT. I work in a doctors office and my boss is somewhat understanding but really is pushing me to come back ASAP. You are very fortunate to have a wonderful boss. When you say nerve twanging do you mean a sensation like sharp stabbing pains? Please post as you are able. I am very interested in your progress. Maybe you should consider the rest of the year off. I hope you continue to feel better each day. Thanks again.

Re: Surgery

Julie on 2/03/01 at 02:58 (038096)

Marie, I'm glad you've decided to go ahead with Monday's surgery, and I look forward to hearing about it and about your progress. I'm sure Donna's posting of her experience was a great help to you. Good luck on Monday!

Donna, Vitamin E is a powerful healing aid. I've used it full strength - you can cut off the tops of Vit E capsules - on cuts and burns, and it really speeds healing and helps avoid scar tissue.

Re: Surgery

Pat on 2/03/01 at 09:31 (038107)

Donna, Marie, Gina and Julie,------- I know how you feel Donna, at the stage you are in, I did a lot of crawling around the house and up and down stairs as the crutches made my arms so sore and I really could not put pressure on my foot.

If I could re-do my surgery, I would have had it done endoscopily. My Son had one foot done, was walking on it the next day and two weeks later he had the other one done and walked the next day. His surgery was done by a podiatrists.

When I decided to have me foot done I chose an Orthopedic Surgeon that does nothing but feet and ankels. He also teaches Medical Students at a University.

I really did not think open surgery would be this painful. I thought I would be just like my Son and be able to walk. My Doctor did tell me I would not be able to put pressure on my foot for a week because of the stiches. Here I am 10 weeks later, still on crutches. If I don't walk on my foot, it does not hurt. I DO NOT have the pain in my heel anymore, my incision has healed fine. I did rub vit E oil and cream on the cut.

I keep telling myself, they really would not let Doctors do this surgery if it doesn't work. However, my foot still hurts, only in different places.

Maybe, I am just to impatiant. Maybe, like Gina said, it will take 12 weeks. One thing about crutches----I sure do have strong arms, you should see my muscles.

Marie, I will be thinking about you on Monday. Please keep us posted.

Pat

Re: Surgery

Donna Y. on 2/03/01 at 13:30 (038121)

The nerve twang I'm talking about feels like a shocking electric pain coming from a spot just under the surface of my incision and radiating over my heel. It feels like you're plucking the nerve almost. Reminds me of the Morton's neuroma pain I had in my other foot before I got metatarsal pads.

Donna

Re: Surgery

marie r on 2/03/01 at 15:43 (038124)

Thank you all for your responses and support. I will let everyone know next week how I am coming along. Hope all of you continue to improve and feel better everyday.

Re: Surgery

Karin L. on 2/06/01 at 12:37 (038303)

Donna,
I had TTS & PF release surgery last April. One thing that helped me tremendously to reduce the scar adhesions was a new product called Mederma. It runs about $30 a tube, but is worth it. I did scar massage about 3 times a day & now you can barely see either scar & there are no adhesions on either scar. Hope this helps. Good luck!

Re: New Pain Post-Op

Dr. Zuckerman on 1/30/01 at 15:41 (037762)

Very common to have the nerve type pain that you are feeling. It will come and it will go. Some people get it and some don't even realize the feeling.
I have found that even though it feels like nerve pain it is the pain where the plantar fascia was cut or where the the bone was cut. So it feels like nerve pain but it isn't . I call it electrical shock type pain.
No need to feel concerned . Just rest the foot when this happens. Are you weight bearing. ?

The dressing change is was a very good idea. Sometimes does help if with the surface pain.

Re: New Pain Post-Op

Donna Y. on 1/30/01 at 16:28 (037766)

Not yet weight bearing and at this point I don't see how I could until this nerve shock subsides. My dad mentioned that it could take a few more weeks for it to heal enough to help the pain, but he doesn't seem concerned too much either. (He's the physician assistant for ortho surgeon) If you've seen this commonly, Dr. Z, I'll try to stop myself from getting too worked up about it. I have been extremely pleased with my recovery so far. This is the first real discomfort I've had and it's certainly not the horrible pain I had anticipated.

Re: New Pain Post-Op

Dr. Zuckerman on 1/30/01 at 17:04 (037768)

This is very common and not unusual for heel spur surgery post-op. The bandage is not cutting into he skin. There are no sores that the bandages is causing. You changed the bandage .Everythink looks great. . The incision looks great . So time will take care of the healing. It sounds like you are on your way to healing and you haveing nothing to worry about.

Good luck and a speedy recovering

Re: Surgery

Pat on 2/01/01 at 15:37 (037991)

Donna,
Ten weeks ago today, I had open procedure surgery, heel spur and fascia release. Sorry to say, I'm still on crutches. I can walk on my foot, but it hurts and if I ingore the pain and walk, I am in tears by 5pm. My foot is very week and I am having pain near my little toe and the next toe. Doctor thinks I may have a stress fracture. I have had heel pain for 15 years, did everything I could to cure the pain. Surgery was the last resort and it sure didn't work for me.

Please keep writing your up dates. You seem to be very positive and that's what I need right now, as I am really fighting depression.

Pat

Re: Surgery

marie r on 2/01/01 at 22:20 (038031)

Hi everyone, Pat I am so sorry to hear your surgery did not help you. I am schduled to have open surgery monday. Your experience has really scared me. I keep thinking maybe I will be as fortunate as Donna, but the last two days I have really been totally freaking out about the pain and being on crutches. The pain now is bad but I hate to think about my foot being cut into. I am just very nervous and hoping I am doing the right thing since all conservative routes taken failed. I just want to be normal again. I hope you are still doing well Donna, and Pat I hope you will begin to feel better soon. If anyone has any input please let me know. I still have tomorrow to cancel. thanks.

Re: Surgery

Julie on 2/02/01 at 02:21 (038036)

Pat, you might be a candidate for ESWT. If you don't know much about it, have a look at the ESWT board and do a search for what other posters who have had it successfully have said. It's a non-invasive treatment that Drs are beginning to advise as an alternative to surgery. It's usually tried before surgery, leaving the surgical option as a last resort, but Dr Zuckerman has often said that it can also be performed after an unsuccessful surgery.

After 15 years of pain you deserve a break. Perhaps this avenue will open one up for you. I do hope so.

All the best, Julie

Re: Surgery

Julie on 2/02/01 at 02:41 (038038)

Marie, I really feel for you. I'm sure I would be nervous too. Nobody can or should advise you on what to do at this late stage but maybe these thoughts will help focus your mind.

Go with your intuition. Ask yourself how you really feel about it, and if you realize that you really DON'T want to do it, then cancel. It's not the end of the world to change your mind - you can always change it back again at a later date and start over.

However - you decided to have the surgery because you thought, and/or hoped, it would help you, and as you know, it HAS worked for lots of people. So I don't think you should necessarily let one negative report put you into a panic now.

If you do go ahead with surgery, go into it wholeheartedly, believing that it will help you. And I hope it does. We will be praying for you.

All the best, Julie

Re: Surgery

GinaC on 2/02/01 at 13:05 (038062)

After 4 years of pain,and every treatment known to man, including ESWT, I plan on having open surgery to release fascia, remove spur , and tarsal tunnel release (tt diagnosed afer ESWT) in next month. I was told I would probably be on crutches for 8-12 weeks, so perhaps it's not time for you to panic yet, as you are at the 10-week mark and there's bound to be some individual variation. I can imagine the emotional roller coaster you are on and I feel like I'm just starting on that ride myself....best of luck to you as you recover. Gina

Re: Surgery

marie r on 2/02/01 at 19:03 (038083)

Julie, thank you so much for that sweet response. I will welcome your prayers. I have decided to go ahead with it. I can not continue in the pain I am in so I am willing to try something else. For anyone interested,or possibly facing this type of surgery, I will post my post surgical progress as Donna did. Her postings really helped me. God bless you.

Re: Surgery

Donna Y. on 2/02/01 at 21:32 (038090)

Marie,

I felt similar reservations before going for my surgery, but would have none of those reservations now. Though I'm not completely pain free after surgery, I was in so much pain pre-op that it's really not any worse now than it was before. In fact, it's been mostly better with the exception of the crutches, which I despise.

I went to the doctor today and he removed my stitches. He also told me that I'm healing nicely and can 'get rid of those crutches'. Is he nuts? I'm not quite there yet, but with the apparent progress I've made in the past three days, I might be ready to do some weight bearing on Monday or so. It's still just very tender in the heel area and I'm still experiencing some nerve 'twanging' when a certain part of the incision is rubbed, but I'm still healing and that has me optimistic.

I did try to be a trooper and just take a couple of crutch assisted steps, but there was a pretty intense sore pain when I tried. Well, I say pretty intense when what I should say is unbearable. There is no way I can walk without the crutches for even a step right now, but I'm encouraged that the pain was 'soreness' rather than sharp or searing or electric. I feel pretty comfortable that this kind of pain will go away and that perhaps the nerve twang won't bother me while doing some light walking. But that remains to be seen. He gave me his blessing to use the crutches for as long as I needed them after I let him know how very painful it was to put weight on it still.

One thing I was instructed to do religiously now is to rub the incision site with cocoa butter or vitamin E cream. He said I can start by lightly rubbing my heel until I can stand deeper massage, but that if I came back in 4 weeks and hadn't been doing it he'd have to send me to PT for them to work on it to help with the scar tissue. So I'm working on it as much as possible. Deep massage doesn't really bother me all that much unless I hit that one point where the nerve twangs. I certainly want to avoid PT if possible.

I also spoke to my boss today about when I'm going to return to work. Thankfully she's an incredibly understanding person and would give me the rest of the school year off if I needed it. I told her that I felt I should take the next week off to try some weight bearing at home and keep up the massage before pushing myself to get back to work. She agreed that this sounded like the best thing to do at this point and let me know that I should take as much time as I needed to heal. Thank God for wonderful bosses.

And thank God for understanding peers. All the best to all of you.

Donna

Re: Surgery

marie r on 2/02/01 at 22:36 (038092)

Donna, thank you so much for the response. I was hoping I would hear from you. My orthopedic surgeon had told me that I would be on crutches for minium six weeks and that he did not want me to bear any weight on that foot until six weeks is up. I certainly hope I do not have to go to PT. I work in a doctors office and my boss is somewhat understanding but really is pushing me to come back ASAP. You are very fortunate to have a wonderful boss. When you say nerve twanging do you mean a sensation like sharp stabbing pains? Please post as you are able. I am very interested in your progress. Maybe you should consider the rest of the year off. I hope you continue to feel better each day. Thanks again.

Re: Surgery

Julie on 2/03/01 at 02:58 (038096)

Marie, I'm glad you've decided to go ahead with Monday's surgery, and I look forward to hearing about it and about your progress. I'm sure Donna's posting of her experience was a great help to you. Good luck on Monday!

Donna, Vitamin E is a powerful healing aid. I've used it full strength - you can cut off the tops of Vit E capsules - on cuts and burns, and it really speeds healing and helps avoid scar tissue.

Re: Surgery

Pat on 2/03/01 at 09:31 (038107)

Donna, Marie, Gina and Julie,------- I know how you feel Donna, at the stage you are in, I did a lot of crawling around the house and up and down stairs as the crutches made my arms so sore and I really could not put pressure on my foot.

If I could re-do my surgery, I would have had it done endoscopily. My Son had one foot done, was walking on it the next day and two weeks later he had the other one done and walked the next day. His surgery was done by a podiatrists.

When I decided to have me foot done I chose an Orthopedic Surgeon that does nothing but feet and ankels. He also teaches Medical Students at a University.

I really did not think open surgery would be this painful. I thought I would be just like my Son and be able to walk. My Doctor did tell me I would not be able to put pressure on my foot for a week because of the stiches. Here I am 10 weeks later, still on crutches. If I don't walk on my foot, it does not hurt. I DO NOT have the pain in my heel anymore, my incision has healed fine. I did rub vit E oil and cream on the cut.

I keep telling myself, they really would not let Doctors do this surgery if it doesn't work. However, my foot still hurts, only in different places.

Maybe, I am just to impatiant. Maybe, like Gina said, it will take 12 weeks. One thing about crutches----I sure do have strong arms, you should see my muscles.

Marie, I will be thinking about you on Monday. Please keep us posted.

Pat

Re: Surgery

Donna Y. on 2/03/01 at 13:30 (038121)

The nerve twang I'm talking about feels like a shocking electric pain coming from a spot just under the surface of my incision and radiating over my heel. It feels like you're plucking the nerve almost. Reminds me of the Morton's neuroma pain I had in my other foot before I got metatarsal pads.

Donna

Re: Surgery

marie r on 2/03/01 at 15:43 (038124)

Thank you all for your responses and support. I will let everyone know next week how I am coming along. Hope all of you continue to improve and feel better everyday.

Re: Surgery

Karin L. on 2/06/01 at 12:37 (038303)

Donna,
I had TTS & PF release surgery last April. One thing that helped me tremendously to reduce the scar adhesions was a new product called Mederma. It runs about $30 a tube, but is worth it. I did scar massage about 3 times a day & now you can barely see either scar & there are no adhesions on either scar. Hope this helps. Good luck!